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The Real life of a Figure Competitor

UK BNBF competition 2011My name is Lucy Oakman, I live here in Exeter with my partner James, my two boys Connor (3yrs) and Oscar (5mths), 1 dog and 1 cat. This blog is all about my journey to hopefully win a trophy this year on stage with the BNBF (British Natural Body building Federation) in July 2013. The BNBF is a drug free organisation, we all get tested prior to competing.

Your probably  wondering what a ‘figure’ competitor does? Basically you train to sculpt your body, build some muscle and reduce your body fat without getting too bulky! You then step on stage in front of an audience wearing a sparkly bikini and high heels and do specific poses to show off what you have achieved after all your hard work and sacrifice. You then get judged along with all the other competitors as to who is in the best shape…according to the panel!

I did my first competition in 2011 in Wales which I managed to win! So I got an invitation to the British finals in Glasgow 3 months later. At that show I got second place and I was over the moon to do so well in my first ever two shows. People said ‘you will be hooked to it now’. I thought ‘yea whatever, not me’…but here I am looking towards to doing it all over again this year.

I had a baby 5 months ago so training has been a bit hit and miss recently due to having Oscar and settling him into some sort of routine as well as breast feeding. Running around after my other boy and looking after my bloke all keep me very busy. Finding time to get the required training and correct nutrition in can be hectic to say the least!

The first thing was to produce a long term plan for my training which was done by my trainer James Buckingham from Precision Fitness and Performance (PFP) This he has planned out in blocks of 1- 4 week periods right up till the day I compete. James has made specific plans for everything – training, nutrition, hormonal balance, body fat, lean body mass, recovery strategies, supplements and so on, all of which are meticulously planned, monitored and adjusted as required.

Currently I am 21 weeks out from D day. My first training block started 4 weeks ago and is an initial ‘building phase’ where I train to put a little bit of  muscle on. Being pregnant as well as not eating or training  ‘full bore’ saw me lose muscle and gain some fat last year. I am just coming to the end of this first 4 weeks period, thank god!!! It’s been bloody hard work but I have already leaned up well and added some shape to my post pregnancy frame which was the aim for the first 4 weeks.

Next week is a 1 week block of full body conditioning and specific fat loss training. At the end of this week I will be having my body fat measurements done again. James did an initial assessment and 12 site body fat test known as a Biosignature analysis before we started so it will be interesting to see what the results are after 4 weeks. During the training for the 2011 comp we did a Biosignature assessment after each block and James adjusted the training and nutrition to get the maximum effect from these findings, measurements and hormonal balance.

I will discuss this in next weeks blog as well as my training changes and some nutritional pointers. I currently do the bulk of my training at PFP Exeter / Gymspace Exeter under the  watchful eye of James. The photograph above is me at the UK final at 3% body fat (drug free).

Thanks for taking the time to read my article.